CHENNAI: In the quest for the ultimate goal, knowledge of the Supreme Being and devotion to Him play a very important role in the soul's progress. Sage Vyasa composed the Bhagavata Purana with the explicit purpose of describing in detail the fascinating aspects of Lord Krishna's incarnation. In this incarnation that continues to be a source of delight and has helped to kindle the devotional quotient in many, the Lord manifests both His supremacy (Parathvam) and His accessibility (Soulabhya), pointed out Kumaravadi Sri Ramanujachariar in a discourse. He whom the Vedas extol as absolute and ever distant, as greater than the greatest and smaller than the smallest, chose to live among human beings, partaking the joys and sorrows of life.

Even as a child while He mingled with and delighted the unlettered folks at Gokulam, He also fulfilled the purpose of His incarnation, and gave Moksha to Puthana and many others, all deputed by Kamsa to kill the child. How fortunate were those who were able to enjoy such proximity with the Supreme Being!

When no one present in Dhritarashtra's court, including Bhishma, Drona and others, was able to intervene and prevent the humiliation meted out to Draupadi, it was Lord Krishna who enacted the unbelievable display of rescue to save her. When in the battlefield as charioteer to Arjuna, He also manifested His divine powers in many instances to save the Pandavas.

In the Bhagavad Gita He asserts His nature as ever willing to lend a helping hand to those who strive to seek His feet and His sole ability to liberate them as well. It becomes clear that if at all there is any chance of redemption from bondage, if at all there is any means by which one can attain salvation (Moksha), it can happen only through the Lord's grace. That is why he vows to release Jivatmas from the sins and effects of Karma if only they choose to take refuge in Him. It is a standing promise of the Lord.

Knowing the Lord's extraordinary greatness, His unsurpassed prowess and His infinite mercy, and riveting one's mind on the auspicious attributes exemplified in His various incarnations, one can develop love and devotion to Him. It is necessary to get initiated into this ennobling experience.